The Kansas case, In re Adoption of C.L., that I’ve written about the last two days, demonstrates the abysmal awfulness of putative father registries. In so doing, it makes the points about them I’ve made many times before – that (a) far from enhancing fathers’ rights, they do the opposite and (b) they place the burden of finding out about a pregnancy on the wrong party, i.e. the father.
Kansas law today is much like that of all states prior to the advent of PFRs. In order for a court to dispense with the father’s consent to the adoption of his child, those seeking to finalize the adoption must prove that the father abandoned the child. Kansas adds another possible ground for doing so – that, once the father learned of his child, he took no reasonable steps to support it, establish a relationship with it, etc. That of course is much the same as abandonment.